the return of the storyteller // updates + snippets + photos

Hello and welcome, meldonyar! (That’s “my friends” in Quenya, if you’re wondering.)

I’m terrible at intros to blog posts, but as the title (hopefully) implies, I have returned to blogging after a month off. It’s been a good month and I’m excited to get back into posting!


// updates //

blogging 💻

I didn’t blog much in May (which was kind of the point), but I wrote several posts (+ post concepts) which I’m going to post in June and July! I did my best to keep up with reading other people’s posts, though.

Taking some time off helped me think about a few things and come to some decisions. Thus:

  • I’m not going to be replying to every single comment on all of my posts. Please don’t feel slighted if I don’t reply to you! It’s just that I don’t always have something meaningful to say, and I’d rather spend time answering questions and typing things I actually mean than forcing myself to come up with a reply to every comment.
  • I’m going to try to publish posts more consistently and schedule them ahead of time. (I still won’t have a “schedule” for posting, though.)
  • I’m going to stop worrying about follows/likes/etc. and focus on interacting and strengthening relationships with the people I’ve already met through blogging.
  • I’m going to try and follow less blogs, but actually comment on posts by the bloggers I do follow.
  • I’m going to do my best to be authentically myself.

reading 📚 + listening 🎧 + writing ✍ + watching 🎥

I talked about these in my monthly newsletter! (You don’t have to be a subscriber to click on the link, and clicking doesn’t subscribe you.)

life  🌲

(I didn’t do anything relating to pine trees, really, this month. But I like ’em.)

  • I climbed a few trees (not pine) a couple of days ago and got blisters on my hands. It was fun, though.
  • I talked on the phone to four different friends and made plans with two more.
  • I signed up for classes for next year. (I’m taking AP European History with MPOA, British Literature with CenterforLit, Latin 5 with Lukeion, economics + government with CUAA online, and — probably — calculus and physics at a local community college, depending on if it’s open or not.)
  • I decided to really truly get a job this summer. I just have to decide where…
  • As per usual, I had mental discussions/arguments with myself about identity, morality, anxiety, college, phone calls, etc. It’s strange how you can be completely okay and also struggling at the same time.
  • But God was with me through it all. As always.
  • I wrote a lot of letters and gained some new pen pals!
  • I also wrote some long emails to new online friends.
  • I watched Aria‘s wedding on Zoom! It was lots of fun, and I got to see Megan and Allison too.


// snippets //

(all from my high fantasy WIP Remnant)

(Note: this snippet features a flashback, indicated by a section in italics. It’s indicated on my site by text noting where it begins and ends, since you can’t see the difference between normal text and italics in a quote. It should work fine if you’re reading this in the WordPress Reader.)

She turned to her “favorite” page: the page she looked at the most, even though it was the most painful.

It was a picture, done in pencil, of her family. She hadn’t been there that day. Social anxiety and general fear of human interaction had driven her to spend the day in her bedroom, staring out the window at nothing and imagining all the fun things she was “missing” but had no desire to take part in. 

How lovely was the life of a scared introvert. How… fun to remember. She sighed as she ran her hand over the page, over the faces of her family. It was still hard, so many decades later, to remember who she had been. Maybe because, in some ways, she still was that small and frightened young woman without direction or companionship.

The direction had come when she became a guard. [names of characters] had become her friends. The fear had slowly faded away. Mostly. 

But she’d always be small. 

She carefully turned the page, making sure not to smudge the drawing, and was confronted with his face. Stark and severely laid out in lines of ink, his smile crooked and endearing, his hair wild and crowned with a blue diadem. She touched the paper. Remembering. Things she didn’t want to, things she wished had never happened. 

His smile was a memory that she had tried to forget. 

{italics begin here} “Do you love me? Could you ever love me?” he asks softly, his hand fingering the end of her blue-streaked braid.

“You’re crazy,” she whispers. She closes her eyes like it will help her focus on what’s important instead of fixating on all the reasons he shouldn’t care.

He shouldn’t care.

“I know,” he says. “But I love you.”

When she opens her eyes, his are so close, so close. Brilliantly silver, flecked with blue. Once in a century, a child is born with silver eyes. Not flecked: true silver. And that child is destined to be remembered. Her mother’s words. 

“You can’t change what you did,” she says. “Can’t change the past.” 

“Your eyes are so blue,” he murmurs. “So beautifully blue.” 

“‘Streaked through by silver,’” she quotes his poem.

“You remembered,” he says. {italics end}

His smile was a memory. 

She was trying to forget. 

// from chapter 7: memories of fire // 

“Where were you?” hissed Nigel. 

Aionladon shrugged. “Around.” 

“The council bells rang ten minutes ago,” said Lyriona. Her curly dark hair was piled on top of her head and secured with a band of white cloth. She wore a white blouse, red pants, and brown sandals, and her dark arms were covered with gold bangles and red painted flowers. 

“I was at the library,” said Aionladon after a moment, because telling part of the truth seemed the easiest thing. 

“I assume you met Kailin, my uncle?” asked Marelle, jerking her head in his direction. 

“He’s your uncle?” Did that make Aionladon her… her… he didn’t know the word. Her uncle’s cousin. And that was weird. 

“Yes. I have the immense privilege of being the great-granddaughter of our rulers. My mother was Tarana’s daughter.”

“What were you doing in the library?” asked Nigel suspiciously. 

“Reading,” said Aionladon. 

“As one does in a library,” said Lyriona. “Nigel, stop it.” 

“Stop what?” 

“Stop being so ridiculous.” 

“Can’t help it,” he said. “It’s in my blood.” 

// from unnumbered chapter: kailin and council // 

“What qualifies you as an adriel [elvish word for traitor] anyway?” asked Tinvera. 

“Killing a human,” said Kalrona immediately. 

“No, that just means you broke the idravaela,” objected Tinvera. 

“Killing your kin?” suggested Taresil. 

“Kinslayer.” Kalrona played with the blue fruit juice on Marelle’s feet, drawing. “Not adriel.”

“Just generally being a traitor, then?” asked Tinvera. 

“No. Being an adriel means betraying everything you hold dear. Being an oathbreaker and a kinslayer and a traitor and — it’s being a, it’s not even being worthy of the name ‘elf’ anymore.” Marelle drew a symbol on her other foot. The family icon of her father.

“I guess Marelle’s the expert,” said Kalrona, shrugging. 

Marelle glared at him and smashed a juicy blue hand onto his face. 

“Ah, Mar, you know that doesn’t wash off.”

“Keep it as a memory then. So when you get to your vows you remember your old friend Marelle, left behind, still a little kid.”

“You’ll be taking your vows soon enough,” he said. “Then we’ll both be adults.” 

“And we’ll never call each other idiots anymore,” said Marelle.  

“We will,” said Tinvera. “Oh, Mar, you’ll always be an idiot. But we’ll never call each other adriela.”

“No. Not unless — unless it’s true,” whispered Marelle. 

Kalrona squeezed an entire fruit over her head. 

// from unnumbered chapter: shadows //


// photos //

I don’t take pictures very much, but over the past year or so I’ve slowly collected a bunch that I thought would be fun to share.

all photos taken and edited with my phone and owned by me (unless otherwise noted). do not use without my permission unless noted below.


July 2019: things I bought and was given for free at the LCMS National Youth Gathering

(Currently: the bag is broken and lost. The backpack is in my closet. The pins are in my drawer. I wear the shirt often. The water bottle was taken by the Secret Service at the March for Life.)

September 2019: a trip to Lavender Hill Farm (where I want to have my wedding reception, if/when I get married) + goodies from the farm and St. Ignace shops

October 2019: birthday gifts (leather jacket, book tree by hawkeyerules, Bert’s Bees lip balm, driving gloves, bracelet, Gray Havens shirt, Adorning the Dark, A Poet’s Dictionary)


November 2019: meeting Andrew Peterson for the third time (photo credit: my mom)

January 2020: trip to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life ~ pictures of the Capitol

this photo may be copied/used without permission (:

~ trees near the Capitol building

~ my feet on the floor of the Capitol + the ceiling mural

March 2020: pictures from a hike with my brothers at our nature center

a panorama view from an overlook on the hike


April 2020: hiking with my sister at a nature preserve

May 2020: a stack of books, my typewriter, a display on my bookshelf
(the typewriter photo ONLY may be copied/used without permission :))


May 2020: a photo featuring blue books + Till We Have Faces + my book tree

this photo may be copied/used without permission IF you properly attribute Jennifer Trafton (:

May 2020: a quote from Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton 

May 2020: me by the pine trees across the road from my house + a picture from a visit to the house I lived in from when I was 5 to when  I was 11 + a path in the woods at my current house

April/May 2020: my little brother Milo and me + a very strange selfie 😛

July 2019 (taken)/May 2020 (sent to me): pictures from the family camp I usually attend (I missed it last year for the National Youth Gathering, and it’s been canceled this summer *cries* — at least the pictures make me happy in a sad kind of way 😢) (photo credit: my friend Timothy)


and a panorama — more beauty, more sadness


// in conclusion //

I hope you enjoyed this lengthy ramble of a post. ‘Twas great fun to write.

I have plenty more posts coming your way (judging books by their covers, Dust blog tour, a glimpse at earlier drafts of Remnant, and more)! Until then, stay safe, write (if you’re a writer), pray, and chase your ideas and dreams.

sign off

P.S. What have you been reading and/or writing? What was your favorite picture from this post? Favorite character from my snippets? Talk to me in the comments!

Published by Maya Joelle

classics student, bookdragon, wordsmith, forest girl, incurable romantic seeking to adorn the dark with my words and kindle hearts with legendary fire looking for beauty in the ordinary but the men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark

21 thoughts on “the return of the storyteller // updates + snippets + photos

  1. Welcome back to the world of blogging! Your return shall be celebrated with feasting. Your writing is lovely, your photos are lovely, how dare the SS take your water bottle-do they not know that hydration is of utmost importance? Hydrate, don’t diedrate.

    “It’s strange how you can be completely okay and also struggling at the same time. But God was with me through it all.” That’s life in a nutshell.

    All that to say, your presence was missed and I am glad to see a blogging return.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I read the Night Gardener before bed, too! (I do that to all books, even if they are scary!) Cute photos! That was a really fun update!! I have been reading the Green Ember series. Have you read those books before? My favorite pic was the selfie of you and your brother! Have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome back fren!
    Awwww okay first your baby brother Milo is SO cutee. (Also I adore the name Milo)
    I really like that quote from Henry and the Chalk Dragon. ❤ (Though sometimes it hurts because it is so true and I am so impatient. xD)
    And all your displays wowww they are all so pretty.
    Also did you make that book tree??? That thing is gorgeous!
    So glad you're back. (:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The storyteller hath returned!!!

    Oooh!!! Good luck on all your goals!! If I may offer advice, to be yourself, you must do your best not to be yourself. *nods wisely* It’s worked for me. *evil laughing* (XDD…but I am looking forward to some Mayaology coming up! ;))

    I’m jealous you got to meet AP, but I’m also astonished that you met that human dragon (as opposed to bean) thrice!! And lovely photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *nods wisely in return* makes complete sense.

      Indeed, he is a dragon. XD I’ve been to two Behold the Lamb concerts (the picture is from the second) and also met him at a homeschool convention.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay! So good to see you back in the blogosphere, Maya!!

    Ooh. AP! And, wow, you met him three times?! That’s so cool! He’s such a wonderful human and produces such compelling, thinkable words, both in song and writing. 😀

    Your brother is adorable. 😀

    Ah, your snippets are fantastic! I love your writing style, and I am thoroughly intrigued. I’m hoping for the day that I’m able to read Remnant in its entirety!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great update, Maya! It is was so great to read what you have been up to and what is going on in your life. I am glad that all is well. 🙂
    One question that I must ask is where did you get that typewriter? That is something I have always dreamed to own, and I think that it would be fun to write stories with! Plus, I just love all things old-fashioned. 😀
    I sadly have not been doing any reading as of lately, but I hope to begin soon since I am almost done with school. I have so many books that I haven’t read yet! I also hope to continue doing some story writing; I have so many ideas that I need to write down before I forget them.
    Okay, now this comment is getting way too long. Let me stop typing. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back, Maya! 😊 This was such a fun post!

    (UGH. I hate writing intros too. 😂)

    Aw, your little brother is adorable! 😍 I’m so glad you had a good month and I’m very glad you’re back to blogging again!

    Liked by 1 person

    Okay so I have a character named Nigel and I feel like that conversation about being ridiculous would kind of fit with him and his bestie. 😝
    Milo is so cute!!! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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